There has been an extensive amount of talk about Michael Vick being a surefire MVP winner following a stunning performance on Monday Night Football. Vick has shown some amazing things this season, helping not only himself but also the Philadelphia Eagles.
However, I am not a firm believer in one-game performances determining a season's effort, which is what leads to the MVP Award. But I will admit—Vick is well on his way to earning the honor.
He is looking like one of the best QBs in the NFL, he is leading the NFL in overall QB rating and he has still not thrown an interception. Not to mention that Vick could become the NFL's greatest redemption story of all time.
That is an impressive list so far this season, but he needs to continue in several categories to be able to win the MVP Award.
Here are 10 ways Vick can win the MVP:
This season, Vick is 4-0 as a starter when he has finished the entire game.
Vick needs to keep this winning streak alive and continue to put games in the win column to propel the Eagles into the postseason. I'm not saying that Vick has to go undefeated for the remainder of the season, but he has to prove that he can win.
All great QBs have the ability to get a winning streak going and pick up their team, even if they are the only ones doing anything. Vick needs to show that he can get the wins, even if the rest of the team is not performing as well as he is.
Vick has a good team and posting wins should not be a problem.
I'm not accusing Vick of doing this, but the Eagles offensive line has been much less than spectacular this year. Vick has taken some nasty hits even with his unbelievable elusiveness. He might soon have a mediocre game if the men trying to protect him can't do their job.
If this happens, he needs to not blame anyone. There is nothing worse on a team than having your starting QB throw around excuses for why he had a bad game.
Of course, there could be other reasons and not just the offensive line. What happens if the Eagles defense can't stop anyone and Vick is simply outscored? Mike must keep a smile on and walk out saying, "We'll do better next week."
Doing otherwise wouldn't just hurt his MVP chances, but would also be an overall downer for his own team. Vick needs to keep team chemistry high. By supporting his team and never accusing them, he will be doing everyone a favor.
Vick will gain no favors in the MVP race if he starts blaming other teammates for his poor performance. It is just a tasteless thing to do.
When Vick took the hit against the Redskins that injured his rib cartilege, many people did not think that he would ever be able to get back to the level of play he had started with. Instead, after the four weeks that he was sidelined, Vick managed to come back even better than before.
Somehow, even following the rib injury, Vick was able to perform even more athletic plays than ever before. He continued his success on the ground and he also proved he could still take a hit, even with a tender rib.
Now that Vick is three games behind the rest of the MVP candidates, he can not afford to miss any more time. The fact that he has even missed time puts his chances for the award in jeopardy.
Missing time is not the only thing that can really hurt his MVP chances. Vick also can't afford to take another serious injury on his body. He is an aggressive QB and injuries do not mix well with that sort of game style. It would only lead to more injuries.
If Vick can stay healthy, it will greatly increase his chances of being able to win the MVP.
These past few weeks, especially Vick's MNF performance, have been almost flawless. This is something that any MVP candidate must be able to do—come out week in and week out and perform at a high level.
Many of the Vick MVP talks have been sparked off of his recent performance. But the truth is, there is no way Vick can go out every game for the rest of the season and post numbers like that. Vick's performance in that game was a once-in-a-season occurrence. Sure, it was a great way to thrust himself onto the MVP scene, but Vick can't pull numbers like that every game.
But Vick can still come out every week and play like a QB that wins games. To win games in the NFL as a QB, you have to be able to post good numbers and have few mistakes. Vick has shown he can do this.
If Vick can keep it together for the rest of the season and post solid numbers, then he will be in a good position to win the MVP.
I have no problem with Vick being a dual-threat QB and being able to take off and make big plays with his feet. But he has to keep the runs in check.
This season, Vick has shown a big turnaround from his "run-first' mentality, and he has been looking down the field for the pass.
Vick can still run the ball, but you win football games as a QB in the NFL by passing the ball. It's really hard to run on every single down as a QB, because there are plenty of plays that defenses have to prevent it from happening.
I'm not suggesting that Vick completely abandon the running game, but he needs to make sure not to make it a top priority again. Vick's threat on the ground is a great advantage and helps to open up the passing lanes down the field. Defenses have to respect Vick's running ability. If they don't they can be torched for big gains on the ground.
If Vick can continue to show that he is no longer a rush-only QB, the MVP race will be strongly swayed in his favor. This would be a big stepping stone in his personal progression, which in turn helps his team succeed as well.
There is still a large community that does not think Vick should be allowed to play in the NFL. It pains most anti-Vick groups that he is back in the NFL and that he is now a starting QB. Now that he is performing at such a high level, the groups seem to be digging their heels in more and more.
The thing about Vick is that he went through all the necessary steps to get back into the NFL. Vick went to jail, served his 23 months and then was released. He continues to do community service and participates in many animal rights events.
Eventually, through a very long process, Vick was allowed to play in the NFL once again. The Philadelphia Eagles signed him.
Vick needs to somehow turn those people's opinions from, "Mike Vick is a dog killer, and I will never support him," to something like, "Mike Vick has done some things in the past, but he is a reformed person."
I think that, without a doubt, this is a new Vick. Everything about the guy has changed, from his play all the way to his attitude.
Vick needs to be able to get the public back on his side so the NFL will not have to fight an uphill battle to give him the MVP Award.
Vick has some of the most explosive receivers in the NFL on his team. He would be a fool not to get them the ball consistently. That is essentially what he is doing right now. Vick continues to throw to DeSean Jackson and have enormous success, showing almost perfect chemistry.
Vick can't just utilize Jackson, however. On the other side of the field, Vick has a killer threat that is usually left open, Jeremy Maclin. Maclin has shown the potential to be a starting receiver and he is one of the most sure-handed bets that Vick has to throw to.
You can't forget about LeSean McCoy. Lining up next to Vick in the backfield, he has shown great potential on screen passes. The combination of Vick's quickness and McCoy's speed on the outside has proved to be a great combo.
If Vick can continue to run the offense the way he has the past few games, his success should continue to be through the roof.
Vick is on a young team and he is one of the few veterans left that the younger players can turn to. Vick can show the younger players how to play by leading by example. An MVP in a season needs to be able to do it all, including showing players how to do things the right way.
Vick has a lot of players on his offense that have enough potential to sink a ship, and he needs to make sure they continue to move in the right direction. Having an experienced veteran like Vick taking the snaps is a huge aid to the personal growth of the younger players.
The fact that Vick is a huge playmaker only influences the younger players to excel above and beyond. This is a great situation for the Eagles offense to continue to grow and learn from a great QB.
The MVP Award is given to a player that can show skills like these. It will be crucial to Vick's success in the voting.
It was almost like a switch went off in Vick's head as soon as this season started and he was handed the reins as the starter of the Eagles. Suddenly, Vick was an accurate and deadly pocket passer, as well as a threat to roll out and run with the ball.
If you just watch Vick's progression now as he drops back in the pocket, you can tell he is a QB that is looking to pass the ball. Whether it be throwing the safe check-down pass to McCoy or going for the deep bomb to Jackson, Vick looks good.
Now when Vick drops back, he goes through every single one of his receivers. If there is no one open down the field then he decides to run with it. But this new type of Vick has been an immediate improvement. It is clearly showing.
Vick needs to keep up the good work on his passing fundamentals and continue to sharpen his accuracy. He is looking like one of the best QBs in the entire NFL. This may lead to the big one—the MVP Award.
When Donovan McNabb was traded to the Washington Redskins, there was a huge leadership hole that was left vacant on the Eagles offense. At first it seemed liked this season was going to be out of control with no veteran leadership. Then Vick stepped in.
Vick immediately gave the Eagles offense a rejuvenated and revived feel, and turned the entire team around. You could feel the energy in the Eagles squad as soon as Vick took the field with them. It felt like the Eagles had found their leader.
The Eagles offense took an entirely new identity—explosive.
When Vick was named the starter, you could see an entirely different Eagles team take the field and begin to take shape. Vick has managed to turn a rough-and-down Eagles team into a Super Bowl contender. It's truly something amazing.
Now all that Vick has to do is keep up what he is already doing. The MVP Award goes to the most valuable player. Vick has been an amazing investment not only for the Eagles, but for the entire city of Philadelphia. Vick is looking like a serious candidate for MVP and he seems to be getting closer and closer each week.
Good work, Mike.